The US not so open Open preview
With no Tiger Woods there is little in the way of a clear market leader for the 2011 US Open.
The most difficult major will also prove to be a very lucrative betting opportunity with some big names at big prices. Gone are the days when Tiger Woods would be the one to watch and be teeing off at a most likely odds on price. The last 10 majors have all been won by numerous players with no one managing to take two major wins in that time.
The participants of this year's tournament at Congressional in Maryland will face a daunting par 71 course which measures 7564 yards from the back tee's. Not only will their drives need to inch perfect but their short game will be tested to the max as this weekend will be comparable to the Dakar rally in terms of stamina and pressure.
Lee Westwood and Phil Mickelson head the betting at very tasty each way prices of 12/1. Meanwhile world number one Luke Donald is a shade bigger at 14/1.
The top two of Westwood and Donald will be slugging it out over four rounds in the hope of winning their first ever major title. Donald will be hoping for a repeat of Wentworth when a shoot-out saw him not only claim the British Open title but also seal his position as top golfer in the world.
Phil Mickelson is bidding to win his first US Open at his 21st attempt, Lefty will be at a disadvantage as Tiger Woods isn't playing as he cites the controversial golfer as an incentive to play well whenever the two are in the same tournament. The most painful statistic other than the on which shows he has zero wins at the tournament is the one which shows he has finished second a record five times.
G-Mac is the current champion and the Ulsterman is 50/1 to replicate his heroics of a year ago and successfully defend his title. But McDowell doesn't really have the best form heading into the tournament, the mantle of being the US Open champion is one that weighed heavy on his shoulders and having handed back the trophy there is a chance he will play a lot freer. But to imagine that he will win the tournament again is quite difficult, subconsciously he may just be trying for a decent finishing spot.
There are 11 Aussies heading to Maryland to participate and if there is to be an Oceanic winner surely it is going to be Jason Day. The 23 year old is entering his first US Open having come off the back of two top 10 finishes at his last Major appearances. He was also the runner-up at this years maters. He is 45/1 to win the tournament outright and 7/2 to be the top Aussie after the four days.
Rory McIlroy is back on American soil participating in another major, can the Hollywood native put his Augusta experience behind him and play a consistent four rounds. He is the fourth favourite at 20/1 to head the field at the end of Sunday. He is capable of doing the business here in Maryland, no question, but it's not his ability that people now doubt, but more his mental mettle.
Dustin Johnson is another of the young guns that could claim their first Major win. His cavalier attitude on the course could suit the Congressional perfectly, he will be remembered for the 2010 PGA Championship when he incurred a two stroke penalty for grounding his club in a fairway bunker that ultimately cost him a shot at the title. He recently recorded a top-five finish at the Memorial which will boost his confidence.